The Government has updated the list of retail outlets which it has deemed essential enough to remain open despite the new Covid-19 restrictions.

It continues to allow food stores, newsagents, off-licences and others to keep their doors open, but withdraws full opening permission to some businesses which had been deemed essential earlier this week.

Outlets selling food, beverages and newspapers remain essential, as do those selling household products to maintain safety and sanitation in homes.

Pharmacies, medical supply outlets, fuel stations, animal feed and pet stores are also still deemed essential.

As are laundries, banks, credit unions and post offices and well as safety supply stores. 

But some businesses will no longer be able to open as normal and will instead only be allowed to offer an emergency call-out or delivery services.

They include opticians, motor repair and bicycle repair outlets.

Hardware stores are also to have their opening restricted to call-out or delivery. Farm equipment sellers and gardening, farming or agricultural supply stores must also limit their operation to call-out and delivery.

A similar restriction now also applies to electrical stores.

Further to the latest Government announcement, the National Car Testing (NCT) service will not be open for business today. The National Driver Licence Service is also closed.

Essential retailers that remain open from today must ensure adequate distancing between customers and shop assistants.

People can only be allowed into stores in "small groups" and spaces inside must not be crowded.

The Government has also stipulated that queue control must be put in place.

Retail Ireland has said that supply chains continue to function as normal.

Reassuring customers, the organisation said: "If people just buy what they need, there will be plenty for everyone. The system is not designed to cope with bulk buying, so it is important that everyone continues to shop responsibly."

The group represents large retailers, including the multiples.

In a statement, Retail Ireland's director Arnold Dillon said: "Shopping patterns have changed significantly over recent days with the closure of restaurants and with many more people working from home.

"Retailers are working with their suppliers and monitoring consumer behaviour to anticipate and meet these changes in demand."

Essential Retail Outlets:

  • Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers. Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses.
  • Pharmacies and chemists.
  • Retail sales of medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores.
  • Fuel stations and heating fuel providers.
  • Health and animal welfare retailers. Including feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding.
  • Laundries and dry cleaners.
  • Banks, post offices and credit unions.
  • Retail sale of safety supply stores (work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment, for example).

Retailers limited to emergency call-out and delivery service:

  • Opticians/optometrists.
  • Repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (tyre sales and repairs for example).
  • Hardware stores, builder's merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture.
  • Retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses.
  • Retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home.